Precept Ministries’ mission is to establish people in God’s Word. In order to be established the student learns truth for themselves through their personal inductive Bible study. Additional growth comes from interaction and fellowship in a small group with other believers discussing what was studied.
The inductive study method has the greatest effect for life change when the small group discussion leader teaches through Question & Answer. Educational specialists tell us that to increase comprehension and retention of truth this method is the most effective.
Q&A is a skill that is developed over time. In order to give each of our valued leaders a foundation to develop this skill we have created leader guides.
Depending on the type of study you are leading there are different guides available. The most in-depth guides are those that accompany the Precept Upon Precept and In & Out study series.
We know that this is the best way to teach and so we invest considerable time and resources to develop and publish the Precept Leader Guides.
It is unfortunate but some teachers place an unnecessary burden on themselves when they lecture instead of teaching. Creating additional handouts, transcribing and copying notes taken from the DVD or adding to lessons does not follow the Precept model, nor is it as effective.
Q&A seems so simple, and we can be led astray to think that ‘more is better.’ We succumb to our fears, “What if no-one talks?” “What if they don’t understand the question?” and horror of horrors, “What if no-one did their homework?” Don’t listen to the “What if’s?”!
Precept leaders have been effectively using this method for over 45 years. We know from experience it works!
People will talk, if the leader lets them; people will eventually get the question, ask it another way; and even if no-one did their homework, someone can answer the question because the answers are all found right in the text you are studying.
Here are four tips for getting the most out of the Leader Guide:
- After you complete the lesson, prayerfully ask God to show you the theme of the lesson as you go through the leader guide.
- Read the Leader Guide highlighting the questions that stand out, ones you don’t want to miss if time becomes an issue. (You don’t need to ask every question in the leader guide.)
- Go through the Leader Guide again and in a different colour highlight application questions and lessons for life. Or add some of your own questions along this line. You want to make sure that application is emphasized.
- Sometimes the question to be asked is stated in the Leader Guide. In other cases you have to come up with the question. Look at the answer in the guide and create the question, just like playing the game of Jeopardy.
Every leader should use the leader guide to some degree or another. Leader guides provide an organized presentation of each lesson. Leaders who use the guides are discipled by the guides and over time the Q&A teaching method begins to flow naturally.